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ERIC Number: EJ980174
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 26
Networks Analysis of a Regional Ecosystem of Afterschool Programs
Russell, Martha G.; Smith, Marc A.
Afterschool Matters, n13 p1-11 Spr 2011
Case studies have documented the impact of family-school-community collaboration in afterschool programs on increasing awareness about the problems of at-risk youth, initiating dialogue among leaders and community representatives, developing rich school-based information systems, and demonstrating how to build strong relationships between public and private sectors through the combination of leadership and money. Communities, families, and youth are interrelated: The availability of quality afterschool programs is related to the health and strength of communities, and strong communities play an important role in supporting families as they help children develop. This article describes a network analysis of the ecosystem of afterschool programs in Dallas County, Texas. The authors use the term "ecosystem" as metaphoric reference for program analysis and strategy formation based on a network-centric mindset. The network analysis reported in this article posed two questions about the Dallas County afterschool ecosystem: (1) What strengths and vulnerabilities can be identified in the patterns of existing relationships between and among afterschool programs, sponsors, and program support organizations in Dallas County?; and (2) What insights for resource development and program advocacy to better satisfy the unmet needs in Dallas can be gleaned from better understanding the networks of financial resources for afterschool care? The authors' analysis showed considerable vulnerability in a system in which afterschool programs worked in isolation and relied on just one or two sources of funding. Considerable opportunity therefore existed for programs to collaborate to build a more cohesive system of afterschool programming. The Dallas Afterschool Network was formed in 2007 to address these vulnerabilities and opportunities. (Contains 2 tables and 5 figures.)
National Institute on Out-of-School Time. Wellesley Centers for Women, 106 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02481. Tel: 781-283-2547; Fax: 781-283-3657; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas